1. shrewdness, artfulness, wiliness, trickery, finesse, intrigue, slyness, deception. Cunning, artifice, craft imply an inclination toward deceit, slyness, and trickery. Cunning implies a shrewd, often instinctive skill in concealing or disguising the real purposes of one's actions: not intelligence but a low kind of cunning. An artifice is a clever, unscrupulous ruse, used to mislead others: a successful artifice to conceal one's motives. Craft suggests underhand methods and the use of deceptive devices and tricks to attain one's ends: craft and deceitfulness in every act. 2. adroitness. 3. ingenious, skillful. 4. artful, wily, tricky, foxy.